LinkWallet Doesn’t Ship Wallets, Promises Refunds By December 2015

ping walletBack in early September, Consumerist featured the LinkWallet, an ultra-thin, smartphone-connected wallets funded through Kickstarter that caught backers’ imaginations and $59,000 of their money. There were several similar wallets available around then, but what distinguished the LinkWallet was the creators’ apparent inability to ship wallets. LinkWallet had assured everyone that the wallets would ship by the end of 2014: how’s that going?

More than a year has passed since the funding deadline in September 2013. The company’s CEO told us that Kickstarter backers could expect to have their wallets in hand by the holidays. Well, tomorrow is the last day of mail service before Christmas and the last day of Hanukkah. Where are the wallets?

Readers wrote in to Consumerist to let us know that they didn’t receive their wallets. No one will receive a wallet: instead of sending merchandise to Kickstarter backers, the company promises to send all of them refunds in the form of a Visa gift card. Backers will get their refunds…um, sometime in the next year.

If you think we’re making that up, we are not: on the Kickstarter page for the original product, the company promises a refund “before December 22, 2015.” In other words, the backers lent Linkwallet money, interest-free, for two years. We’re pretty sure that isn’t how crowdfunding is supposed to work.

Refunds are coming instead of wallets because, Linkwallet says, 80% of backers polled said that they would prefer a refund. If backers still want a wallet, they can pre-order from the company’s own page, but somehow we doubt that any of the Kickstarter backers will be keen to do that.

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We tried to contact LinkWallet last week, but haven’t received a response. We also called Kickstarter’s attention to the very long refund timeline that Linkwallet has given itself, and will let you know if we hear something back.